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Famous for its balmy temperature and oceanfront access, South Padre Island is one of Texas’s most coveted holiday getaways.
The vacation town is located at the southeastern tip of Texas and borders Mexico. As a barrier island, its eastern shoreline is along the Gulf of Mexico and is beloved by tourists for its warm year-round climate. Most of the land is a protected National Seashore, and the town of South Padre Island is relegated to the bottom tip of the island.
The island is a favored destination for college spring breaks during March, when the town is largely populated by young adults enjoying the lively nightlife. Many families and retirees enjoy visits to South Padre Island during the winter thanks to its yearlong warm climate. Its downtown is filled with resorts, hotels, bars, and souvenir shops.
Miles of pristine seashore stretches along the coastline, making it a perfect place to soak up the sun, go for a swim, or play beach volleyball. Many visitors take advantage of the horseback riding tours and take a beach ride at sunset. South Padre Island is known for its fishing opportunities and hosts numerous fishing contests and tournaments throughout the year.
Water sports are the prime activity on South Padre Island and it is not unusual to see dozens of parasailers and kiteboarders enjoying the ocean waves. Dolphin watching is another popular choice, with a wide offering of tours available. Get snorkeling lessons to explore the ocean floor of the Gulf of Mexico.
If fresh water recreation is more your style, spend the afternoon at Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark where you can enjoy water slides and other attractions that will appeal to visitors of all ages.
Port Isabel is five miles (eight kilometers) away and is home to the Port Isabel Lighthouse, which features stunning views of South Padre Island and the ocean beyond.
South Padre Island has a slender shape and compact community. Most of the island’s destinations can be reached on foot, but if you don’t feel like strolling, the town also offers The Wave, a free shuttle service.
Brownsville International Airport is a half-hour drive from South Padre Island, and has daily flights to and from Dallas and Houston. The island is connected to the mainland by Route 100.
Accommodation in South Padre Island
You can explore 21 different South Padre Island accommodation options by checking out Expedia's South Padre Island hotels page.
Those looking for a bed with a touch of class are sure to be delighted, South Padre Island features some high-end options, including the Peninsula Island Resort & Spa - All Suites, at 340 Padre Blvd, and the Suites At Sunchase, at 1004 Padre Blvd. Should those recommendations not grab you, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites South Padre Island, 6502 Padre Blvd, or the Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island, 7010 Padre Blvd might better suit your needs.
This oceanfront resort is located on South Padre Island, along the coast of south Texas. The island is a sand barrier lying in the Gulf of Mexico; egrets and ibis flourish in the semitropical climate. The resort includes a full-service spa.
This beachfront hotel is on South Padre Island Beach. Horseback riding and deep sea fishing are available within a mile.
Located on the bay side of South Padre Island, this hotel is 1 block from the beach and less than 2 miles from the convention center, Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, and other family activities.
Located on the gulf side of South Padre Island with private beach access, this hotel is on South Padre Island’s main strip and within a mile of the entertainment district. A golf course is nearby.
Situated on the beach, this condo building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Queen Isabella State Fishing Pier and Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark. Isla Blanca Park and University of Texas Pan American Coastal Studies Laboratory are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Located across from the Queen Isabella Causeway, this oceanfront resort on South Padre Island is 1 mile from Schlitterbahn Water Park, Osprey Deep Sea Fishing Trips, and Breakaway Cruises dolphin-watching excursions.
Located in South Padre Island, this beachfront resort is in the city center and within 1 mi (2 km) of Queen Isabella State Fishing Pier and Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark. Isla Blanca Park and University of Texas Pan American Coastal Studies Laboratory are also within 15 minutes.
Located in the heart of South Padre Island, this motel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, Queen Isabella State Fishing Pier, and Isla Blanca Park. University of Texas Pan American Coastal Studies Laboratory and Sea Turtle Inc are also within 3 mi (5 km).